the release of an unfinished version of the game sheds new light on its catastrophic development

A picture taken from the trailer to

This has long been the video game’s biggest myth, its Loch Ness Monster: Duke Nukem foreverannounced in 1997, revealed with great fanfare in a jubilant video in 2001, was finally released in 2011 after many twists and turns by developers, for a result that was considered extremely disappointing.

It must be said that after fourteen years of waiting (a record that has become a mockery over the years), players had the right to hope for more from the sequel to the mythical. Duke Nukem 3D (1996) den “relax” sometimes just “friendly”but also according to the test of World back then, “sexist”, “frustrating”, “repetitive”crippled with errors and moments “too long, too linear and quickly boring”.

Re-read our test of time: Duke Nukem Forever, the forgotten date

Over the years, players also began to dream about the version seen in 2001, the one that was revealed to the press and Internet users in a rhythmic trailer. And if the “true” Duke Nukem forever was it one?

Since May 10, the dream is over: it is now possible to play the 2001 version … and see for yourself that in reality, Duke Nukem forever was never anything but a terrible shipwreck. However, this is not an official release, but a “leak”, a leak made possible by someone who had access to this unfinished version: a certain x0r_jmp who made available on the 4chan forum a link to illegally download this Duke Nukem forever year 2001.

No need to cheat to be aware of the extent of the damage: On Twitch, YouTube or Twitter, Internet users were quick to upload game sequences, testifying that there was actually nothing ready in this 2001 version, except for long empty corridors and short passages to the millimeter scene, which was used to assemble the trailer from 2001. Barely a prototype, ultimately quite close in its intentions on the 2011 version.

There was never anything that was perfect as there was never really a game

If this leak, in addition to being by definition illegal, does not, strictly speaking, offer any ridiculous interest, it nevertheless constitutes a valuable historical document which destroys what was hitherto the official history of its development: if Duke Nukem forever took so long to get out, it would be because its creators, who were too perfectionist, were unable to put the finishing touches on it. In reality, there was never anything that was perfect as there was never really a game.

Dirty laundry and bird names

This illegal provision of a working version of Duke Nukem forever would have had another benefit: to allow a better understanding of the causes of this failure during a somewhat pathetic unpacking.

Scott Miller, then owner of 3D Realms, the studio responsible until 2009 for the development of Duke Nukem forever, thus shared on his blog an explanatory note about this leak – of which he makes sure he does not know the author. Acknowledge it “the ingenious trailer from 2001 oversold what was really playable” at this stage of development he assesses the failure of Duke Nukem forever can be attributed in particular to the total absence of a roadmap during development.

Above all, he says that the refusal internally to follow him, when in 2004 he got the idea to leave the development to another studio (Digital Extremes, which in the meantime has been successful with Warframe), led the study into a “bottomless hole” expenses that will end with ” Destroy 3D Realms »studio has since become an empty shell bought in 2014 by a Danish investment fund.

George Broussard calls Scott Miller a “narcissistic loser” whose actions would have led to the “loss of the brands” 3D Realms “and” Duke Nukem “”

If he is not named as the author of this rejection and responsible for the end of 3D Realms, George Broussard, former student and co-creator of “Duke Nukem, obviously took it for granted. On Twitter, he describes Scott Miller as “narcissistic loser” whose actions would have led “on the loss of the brands” 3D Realms “and Duke Nukem”.

“I wanted so much to say about him – I have known him since the 1970s and high school. He seizes the slightest opportunity to present himself in a favorable light, even if it means throwing out an ex-friend and business partner. »

Sad epilogue for a series that was, in 1996, with the episode Duke Nukem 3Done of the most exciting games at the moment before its name became synonymous with “vaporware”, the kind of “ghost software” that everyone talks about but which apparently never gets released.

A not very honorable title that he had to give up in 2011 when his pathetic commercial version finally saw the light of day, but which has since been made his own by another game, French, him: revealed in 2008, visibly abandoned, then revived in 2016, before it disappeared from the radar again when its creator, Michel Ancel, was pressured to release the Ubisoft studio in 2020, Beyond Good & Evil 2 has reluctantly become the new Duke Nukem forever.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Michel Ancel, the creator of “Rayman”, left Ubisoft in the midst of internal investigation

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